|Last fall, transfer student Carol Moy was named to the Phi Theta Kappa All-Washington Academic Team. Only two students are selected from each of the state’s 34 community colleges to be recognized and honored by the international honor society for two-year colleges for their academic successes as well as their leadership accomplishments and community contributions. Moy has also been designated a Gold Scholar by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. Only 50 students across the country earn this designation along with $1,500. |
At 18, Chung Nga (Carol) Moy already knows what she wants to do with her life – and she’s off to a good start.
The petite, quiet-spoken woman came a long way to get her transfer degree at Shoreline Community College – 6,499 miles to be exact. Her father wanted her to study and work in the United States believing she would have better career opportunities here than at home,” said Moy, who was born and raised in Hong Kong.
She had planned to study someplace in the U.S. as an exchange student, but about the time she was filling out the paperwork, her father learned that they had received the green light to immigrate. “Everything changed because now we were going to be immigrants,” Moy said. “Now, I couldn’t be an exchange student.”
It all happened so quickly that the then-16 year-old says it was all a blur. Her father set up an appointment for them to talk to an educational agent about enrolling Carol in an American college. It was the agent who strongly suggested Shoreline. Moy thought Shoreline sounded like the right place; small classes, one-on-one time with instructors, diverse student body.
In August of 2008, she and her brother came to the U.S. Carol moved in with a home-stay family in Shoreline while her brother moved to Alaska, where he had been an exchange student a few years earlier. Their father, hoping to find work himself as a quality control auditor, was forced to return to Hong Kong shortly afterward due to the tight labor market .
In September, 2008, Carol found herself on her own, beginning her college education at Shoreline Community College. Her English was “so-so,” after studying at an English language school in Hong Kong for five years. But the language wasn’t the biggest challenge.
“I need a lot of time to warm up,” Moy said of her shyness. She spent her first year at Shoreline focusing only on her studies, waiting to feel more comfortable before joining clubs and getting involved in college activities. As part of a campus-based research project in Prof. Tim Payne’s microeconomics class, Moy worked with team members on a project to calculate the college’s carbon footprint. The 10-week quarter didn’t allow time for completion of the project and when Payne asked if she would be interested in continuing the research and documentation even without credit, she was eager to do so.
“This was no easy task and Carol took it on in a most professional manner,” Payne said. The work involved gathering data from several college offices, developing a work plan, collaboration and delegation of tasks among the team, entering data into a spreadsheet and, in the end, drawing conclusions and making recommendations to the college on ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Finishing the project, bolstered her confidence. She joined other students as part of a planning subcommittee for a hunger banquet this past spring. The event was well attended, with community members joining students, faculty and staff. Seeing that kind of participation was inspiring to Moy. Soon afterward, she began getting involved in other college activities and events.
She helped organize two food drives for a local food bank, then started helping tutor ESL students as she could empathize with the unique challenges they faced. Moy also volunteered as a classroom assistant in the GED math class. She also volunteers as a volunteer for the American Red Cross in King and Kitsap counties.
This past fall quarter, Moy joined the business club, DECA (Delta Epsilon Chi). She has done very well in the marketing, management and business college organization, taking second place in a statewide competition in which she had to analyze a human resources problem and come up with a solution. Many of these challenges are done by two to three students, but Moy took this one on her own.
“I really give honor to my teacher, David Starr,” she said of the accomplishment, also giving credit to Laura Portolese-Diaz, Stephen McCloskey and Mona Starr. “They all give me good advice.”
Moy also helps fellow students with preparation of the Federal Student Aid applications, working with college staff member Michael Boehm
Not long after coming to Shoreline, Moy took on a work-study position as an office assistant for the Basic Food Employment and Training Program. “I didn’t want to be too big a financial burden on my family,” she said.
Boehm, training coordinator for the program, is impressed with her quick understanding of processes and hard work. “Carol has greatly contributed to the overall success of multiple programs,” he said. Boehm says that Moy’s work integrating college and Department of Social and Health Services databases into a communication tool for the Financial Aid Department has proven to be effective in making workforce education more efficient.
Moy is taking keen interest in highly controversial issues such as abortion rights. Coming from a country that holds a strict policy on abortion, she decided that volunteering at an agency that supports pro-choice would provide her the opportunity to hear both sides. “We don’t talk about this at home,” she said.
Moy has already been accepted to the business schools at Indiana University- Bloomington, Ohio State University, Purdue and the University of Iowa. She is holding out for her dream college, however, the University of Wisconsin. She plans to earn a business degree with a double major – business and environmental science. She would like to work as a managerial consultant in the field of sustainability. “I want to help companies become more sustainable,” she said.
The shy side of Moy is still evident. She wouldn’t think of boasting of her accomplishments and hasn’t told her parents about the Phi Theta Kappa award. She is planning on sending them a letter with a photo of her receiving her award from Gov. Gregoire.